Rental criteria can be a bit ambiguous, so the goal of this blog is to give you a good indication of whether or not you’ll be approved for one of our rental homes. You can use the guidelines below to give you a good idea of the application results:
- Have you viewed the property in person? We don’t accept applications until you have viewed the interior of the property first, so we know you are truly happy with the rental property. You can view most properties on your own through our self-guided showing system, or with an agent.
- Are all potential occupants over the age of 18 prepared to submit an application? Each adult applicant over the age of 18 needs to submit their own application on our website – there is a $60 fee per applicant, payable with a debit or credit card after the application is completed. Spouses must apply separately, as each has a unique social security number, credit report, and criminal/civil record history. All applicants for the property, including co-signer applications, should be received within 24 hours of each other and each applicant should list their co-applicants during the application process.
- Have you ever been evicted from any other rental property, or has an eviction ever been filed against you even if the final judgement was not issued? Any final judgement evictions result in an automatic denial of the rental application. If an eviction was filed but dismissed or settled via stipulation, we may still be able to work with you (owner approval is required in this case). If you’re not sure, most counties have online record searches for both criminal and civil records – you can simply type in your name and pull up your case history. Check the links below!
- Have you been convicted of a felony within the last seven (7) years for any crimes involving violence against persons, damage or destruction of property, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances? Have you ever been convicted or charged with any sexual offenses? If you said no to both questions, you’ll pass our criminal background search. If you said yes to either question, your application might be denied. If you’re not sure, most counties have online record searches for both criminal and civil records – you can simply type in your name and pull up your case history. Check the links below!
- Do you have good credit? Credit scores can be influenced by a number of factors, so we focus more on the content of your credit report rather than the number of your credit score. If you have a large number of accounts reflecting late payments, with delinquent balances, or reported as in collections, your application may come back as conditional. If this happens, the owner will have to give final approval and may require a higher security deposit or a co-signer to offset the results.
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? We accept residents with a bankruptcy on their records, but it must be discharged – not dismissed. A dismissed bankruptcy may result in a denial.
- Do you have good, recent rental history? We’ll contact your current landlord to verify your payment history and ask if there are any property damages or lease violations. If you have never rented before, a higher deposit or a co-signer may be required.
- Does your household make at least three times the monthly rent each month? This is our minimum income requirement. We also require that all income is verified via documentation such as paycheck stubs, a letter of employment verification from your employer, or a disbursement letter in the case of alimony, child support, disability, or social security. This should be uploaded during the application process. Student loan income is not considered a reliable source of income.
- Do you have a valid form of government-issued photo identification? All applicants are required to upload a copy of their photo ID during the application process, and will be required to provide this in person as well, prior to moving in.
- Do you have pets? Most of our properties allow pets, but some do not – review the property information before applying to ensure the property you’ve selected allows pets. If you do have pets, there will be a $150 non-refundable pet fee and a $200 refundable pet deposit due at move-in, per pet. We do not allow more than two pets per property. They must be under 75 pounds, and not considered an aggressive breed.
- Do you have the funds available to pay a security deposit? We place a 24-hour courtesy hold on the property after your application is approved, but cannot continue to hold the property off the market without the deposit in hand. The deposit needs to be in the form a certified check or money order and made payable to Innovative Realty, and dropped off within 24 hours of application approval – it is equal to one month’s rent in most cases, though additional funds may be required if your application results came back as conditional. Once the deposit is received, the property is taken off the market and held for you until your move-in date.
- Are you looking to move within two (2) weeks? We can only hold properties off the market for an approved applicant after the deposit is received for a period of up to two (2) weeks. We must also allow for at least three (3) business days to process a move-in from the receipt of the security deposit.
- Are you a college student? We require all properties inhabited by full-time students to pay a double security deposit and we require each applicant has a co-signer to guarantee the lease agreement.
- Do you need a co-signer to guarantee the lease? If you don’t meet our requirements and have a prior dismissed or settled eviction, poor credit, or no rental history, a co-signer can help offset these results! Co-signers apply on our website just like a regular occupant, though they’ll select that they are a co-signer instead of a financially responsible occupant. Co-signers must have excellent credit with no late payments, delinquent accounts, or accounts in collection and they must make at least four (4) times the monthly rent on their own.
If you don’t fully meet these requirements, that’s okay! We can work with most applicants. If your application comes back as conditional, the owner is sent the results (not your personal information – just the screening results) to make a final decision. In most cases, conditional applicants will be approved if they have a qualifying co-signer, pay a double security deposit, or sometimes both.
We hope this helps clear things up for you! If you have any questions about the application process or our rental criteria, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.